Commentary

Here's what happened when I chaperoned a middle-school Valentine's dance last week

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3:20:15: If you're questioning the effectiveness of moving tables as a means of decorating for a dance, go home today and put the kitchen table in the living room. Everyone in your whole house will freak the fuck out about it. Table placement is serious, son.

3:24: The DJ for today's dance is a younger black lady. Normally our school hires this sixty-year-old Mexican man who was kin to someone at our campus, but the lady that used to handle that is gone now, so he got the ax. I'll miss his Old Man Jeans.

3:26: Malibooyah. First song played: Sage the Gemini's very clubby "Gas Pedal." This is a strong start, to be sure. It's the first time we've ever had someone play a song that wasn't thirty years old at one of our dances. The kids seem appreciative.

3:38: The very first time I gave a girl something for Valentine's Day was when I was in the eighth grade. I gave her a six-pack of chocolate milk (I don't know why) and a hand-drawn picture of our names graffiti-ed on a brick wall. That's the realest shit of all. I'm saying, do you even know how long it takes to draw a brick wall? Like forty minutes, man. True love.

3:38:15: Semi-related: The first time I ever for real kissed a girl was also in the eighth grade. I used to think I was a very cool kid in middle school, but then I saw pictures of me from back then about two or three years ago. I was definitely not a very cool kid. My front teeth looked like goddamn index cards. God bless that girl -- that kiss was probably the most altruistic moment of her whole life.

3:51: "Wobble." Wonderful. The DJ could play Boston for the rest of the dance, and she'd still have a better average than the previous guy.

3:58: Hahahahaha. There's a "Selfie Station" at the back of the dance. It's basically just a big Valentine's Day poster that you can take pictures in front of. Two eighth-graders asked a seventh-grader to take their picture in front of it.

The seventh-grader agreed, took the phone, aimed it at the eighth-graders, then very quickly clicked the little icon that reverses the direction of the camera, took a picture of herself pretending to take a picture of them, then handed them the phone and ran away before they could check it. I don't know who that kid was, but I know she's my favorite kid of all time.

4:04: The big guns: the DJ is playing "Me Puedo Matar" by Bachata Heightz. That's what's up. She is very serious about this. Our school is almost exclusively Latino, so this is pretty much the smartest move ever. Thirteen-year-old girls LOVE Bachata Heightz.

4:11: Oh no. "Timber." The new DJ takes a hit. Old Man DJ would have never played this, though I have to assume that it would be because he wouldn't have even known that it existed. There's something to be said for ignorance, I suppose.

4:16: Okay. Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty." I'm gonna go ahead and go stand outside until this song is over. Thanks, thanks.

4:18: Miley's "We Can't Stop." This car is skidding out of control. Someone send help.

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Shea Serrano